This paper presents damping force control performances of a magnetorheological (MR) damper via new control strategy considering hysteretic behavior of the field-dependent damping force. In order to achieve this goal, a commercial MR damper which is applicable to passenger vehicle is adopted and its field-dependent damping force is experimentally evaluated. Since the field-dependent damping force shows the hysteretic behavior which significantly affects to control characteristics of the system, Preisach hysteresis model for the MR damper is established and its first order descending (FOD) curves are experimentally identified. Subsequently, a feed-forward compensator strategy for the MR damper is formulated and damping force control is evaluated. In addition, vibration control performances are experimentally evaluated with quarter-vehicle test facility.